Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience

Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.

Comment from: lauren, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

After 10 years of tests and surgery to both my ankles. I have finally been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 27. No one would diagnose me with arthritis at such young age. I am on methotrexate, folic acid, Celebrex, sulfasalizine and tramadol to control my symptoms. I have to go for 6 weekly blood tests for liver function/ I can't even walk for ten continuous minutes with crying from the pain in both my ankles. I can't even go shopping with my friends because I can't walk around for long. I work in aged care i have more pain then most of the 80 year old residents I ooh after.

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Comment from: melrosebelleacre, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I've had rheumatoid arthritis for 7 years. I work as an RN and have pushed myself beyond what I should have because of public opinion related to disability and the way that physicians view patients with chronic medical problems. I've not been offered OT or PT for splints. I wear generic splints from the store and I am certain although I am very clean, I am an infection control nightmare. I must protect my joints. I've had one tendon repair surgery and it took months of recovery and my finger will never be straight again. I think doctors have no interest if you already have a chronic illness. I feel bullied to report that I am doing fine, but honestly, I am not doing fine at all. Outstanding evals at work, though they tell me I am not physically capable of doing my job and that I should look for something else. 20 years of being a caregiver to all, for this.

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Comment from: Penny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I have had RA for 11 years now. I have a positive RA blood work, but you can have RA with a negative blood. I have only had to use prednisone occasionally I avoid it because of side effects. I have taken methotrexate for 10 years; about 5 years ago I couldn't take it oral anymore because it gave me a GI bleed. But thank god it can be injected and this I do plus an injection of Embrel 40mg for the latest 6years. I think I am very good. I have difficulty working fulltime it positively exhausts me and I am awake all night in pain. Also a hot tub is a god send when pain pills won't cut it. I do take Vicodin for pain but I try to take it as little as possible and when nothing else will work. As you can tell by my typing I have had bilateral carpal tunnel repaired with fairly good results, also had Right great toe fused. Now my Right ankle swells constantly and I wear a brace but x-ray shows no joint damage. Any repetitive motion will escalate pain. I know I am very lucky as my husband is able to carry my insurance and support me. I have never done a diet, I suffer from depression due to low serotonin and can't stick to a diet. I find a good rheumatologist and staying as active as possible, like swimming or Tai chi is the best.

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Comment from: Judith, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for about 26 years now!! When I was first diagnosed when I was a healthy 25 year old with two young children to look after. I worked part time in the evenings shelf filling in Sainsburys when one day I was filling up the freezers when I found that my right hand had seized up and I could not move it (which was quite frightening)but by the next day my hand was alright and functioning perfectly so I carried on my normal day to day activities. Two weeks later the same thing happened again but this time it was my knee and I found that I could not walk properly and so missed the bus home by this time I was getting really scared trying to think what was wrong with me. I went to the doctors had blood tests etc and then was sent to the hospital where my Rheumatoid Arthritis was diagnosed (but by the time i went to the hospital a lot more of my joints were affected. I have had many treatments since my arthritis was diagnosed and now have been fortunate enough to be put on a relatively new drug Infliximab (Remicade) which I have to have done by infusion at the hospital every 8 weeks.

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

My journey with all of this has started fairly suddenly-swollen hands and joint pain. Now I am taking 30 mg of Prednisone and day and I am up to Hydrocodone for pain four times a day. I will not see a Rheumatologist for 2 more months but the steroids are awful and I feel bad all the time it seems. I feel as if I have no control anymore and I am very scared. I have no one to pick up and take care of me if I cannot work and my job is physically demanding and stressful, which I cannot seem to handle as well anymore.

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Comment from: Mominpain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

After having my now 3 year old daughter, I started having horrible pain. Doctor after doctor made me feel like I was losing my mind. About 8mo ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but it just didn't seem right. I finally saw a new dr that spent 1 1/2 hours with me going over everything, did a lot of blood work, and 2 month ago was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Both shock and relief to finally know it wasn't all in my head! I just started methotrexate, my goal is to run and play with my 5 and 3 year old! I miss it so much I cry myself to sleep. I'm supposed to be enjoying these years with my young children and it's very hard to put on a happy face when you're cringing in pain playing with your kids!

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms and Signs Question: What were your symptoms and signs at the onset of your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet Question: Discuss the diet or other lifestyle changes you've made to relieve symptoms and signs of RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diagnosis Question: What led to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience With RA and OA Question: Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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